verb (used without object)

to utter the cry of a horse; whinny.


the cry of a horse; whinny.

Origin of neigh

before 1000; Middle English ney(gh)en, Old English hnǣgan, cognate with Middle Dutch neyen, Old Saxon hnēgian, Middle High German nēgen, Old High German hneigen, Old Norse hneggja; akin to Old Saxon hnechian; Middle Dutch nighen, Middle Low German nigen, Middle High German nyhen; and, with intrusion in the initial, Old Norse gneggja, Norwegian kneggja. See nag2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for neigh

yell, neigh, hee-haw

Examples from the Web for neigh

Historical Examples of neigh

  • I hear the neigh of thy charger, in the midst of the mailed thousands!

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Then the voices of the crowd came to Naomi's ears like the neigh of a breathless horse.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • The horses toss their heads, and neigh to each other, and enjoy it as much as we do.

  • In the distance, once in a while, is heard the yelp of coyote or the neigh of Indian pony.

    Marion's Faith.

    Charles King

  • The horse began to neigh and rear, so that our hero could not strike with his sword.

British Dictionary definitions for neigh



the high-pitched cry of a horse; whinny


(intr) to make a neigh or a similar noise
(tr) to utter with a sound like a neigh

Word Origin for neigh

Old English hnǣgan; related to Old Saxon hnēgian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for neigh

Old English hnægan "to neigh," probably of imitative origin (cf. Old Norse gneggja, Middle High German negen, French hennir, Japanese inanaki). Related: Neighed; neighing. As a noun from 1510s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper